The conclusions of a new meta-analysis of the systemic pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil (neonics) confirm that they are causing significant damage to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species and are a key factor in the decline of bees.
Concern about the impact of systemic pesticides on a variety of beneficial species has been growing for the last 20 years but the science has not been considered conclusive until now.
Undertaking a full analysis of all the available literature (800 peer-reviewed reports) the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides – a group of global, independent scientists affiliated with the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and the IUCN Species Survival Commission has found that there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.
(Photograph: David R. Frazier/Alamy)
GR: This article from IUCN is about insecticides. Herbicides are equally dangerous. When I finally got my own place and began preparing pastures for cattle (pets, not food), I used mechanical means (mowing and pulling) to subdue the weeds. The weeds (most were human-introduced invasive species from Asia) kept spreading.
My father said the herbicide “2,4-D” was safe for people and animals. I checked the literature and found hundreds of studies confirming the harmless nature of the compound. I began using it. I never used the insecticides. Studies showing the damaging effects of “2,4-D” began appearing, and I stopped using it. Numerous studies have since shown links between “2,4-D” to everything from cancer to food-chain disruption to colony collapse in bees.
Mechanical weed removal is initially more expensive than the herbicides, but it is the only safe option. Mechanical weed removal is one step in an effective weed management. My website (https://garryrogers.com/nature) has descriptions of the other steps required for efficient weed control.